Pea - some sort of

Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 pretty wildflowers dorking


Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 dorking

Tree, fence and light

Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 dorking

Pea - some sort of

Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 pretty wildflowers dorking

White Bryony

Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 pretty wildflowers dorking

Hoverfly on wild parsnip

Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 pretty wildflowers dorking


Dorking Circular

23-Jul-17 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk274 pretty wildflowers dorking

Dorking Circular walk

Out along the North Downs escarpment and back through the Greensand Hills.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Fri, 07-Dec-18

Date # Post
Sat, 01-Sep-18 15

Saturday Walk – The Greensand Hills from Gomshall to Dorking

Extra Walk 274c – Gomshall to Dorking
Length: About 16 km (10 miles). Toughness: 4/10

10:39 Reigate train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 10:46, East Croydon 10:57), changing at Reigate (arr 11:23, dep 11:35; same platform) for the Reading train, arriving Gomshall at 11:49. Buy a return to Gomshall.

For the return journey Dorking (Main) has Southern services to Victoria at xx:07 & xx:37. In theory there are also South Western Railway Trains to Waterloo departing a few minutes earlier, but these might not be running because of the RMT strike action. Alternatively, there are Great Western trains from Dorking Deepdene to Redhill at around xx:08 & xx:26 if you want to return this way.

This new variation of the Dorking Circular walk is essentially the second half of its fairly strenuous Long Walk option, and as many of those wanting a longer and tougher walk will be on today's Cotswolds outing I thought we'd give this variation its début. It's a late start because trains to Gomshall are only two-hourly but there are three possible lunch pubs in the first 1½ hours. Most of you will be familiar with the Stephan Langton in Friday Street but you might well be tempted a little earlier by The Abinger Hatch in Abinger Common. There are plenty of possible tea places in Dorking.

You'll need to bring the directions from the Dorking Circular walk page. Clicking 'Option c' will significantly reduce the amount printed. T=swc.274.c
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Weather was ‘a perfect 10’ as one walker succinctly put it with clear skies, strong sunshine, a light breeze and plenty of shade. For the stats sunny and warm

This walk is rather wonderful ( good choice Sean ) and even the numerous steep slopes ( two of them after a rather large and heavy lunch ) were enjoyable, though they were also excruciating for some of us. Curiously steep hills are getting harder you know though as I do them every week they should really get easier.

Some lunched at the Abinger Hatch whilst 8 of us ate at the Stephan Langton where the food was good but the wait was the 'interminable' 55 minutes which was somewhat disappointing.

and then those hills and just in time for tea and very nice homemade cakes for 8 of us at Two Many Cooks.

And onto the station for the train home where some others joined us so most of us stayed together most of the day as it appens though I understand that a couple took a bus towards the end and were delighted by the fact that it was free for freedom pass people

15 on the walk

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

Sat, 25-Nov-17 25

Saturday walk - Dorking Circular

Dorking Circular (SWC walk 274)
Length: 16km (10.1 miles), 18.8km (11.6 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10 to 6 out of 10

9.31 train from Victoria (9.37 Clapham Junction, 9.59 Sutton) to Dorking, arriving 10.24.

There is also a 9.24 train from Waterloo (9.33 Clapham Junction, 9.40 Wimbledon), arriving 10.13, if anyone finds that more convenient, but note the information in the next paragraph

So long as you travel both ways by the Victoria trains, then you can buy a cheaper "Southern only" return to Dorking (if available).

For walk directions click here. For GPX file click here.

Autumn colours will probably be past their best by now, but the dribs and drabs lingering on can still be very pretty. This walk has plenty of woods, particularly after lunch on the main (ie slightly longer) walk.

I was initially attracted to it because it offered 9 and 10.6 mile option, but I see on closer inspection that the author has hidden in the small print a sneaky supplement to those distances by starting his measurements from Dorking West, a station with about three trains a day. Starting from Dorking main station bumps the distances up to the ones stated at the top of this post, but at the end of the walk a good 2km or more is through the streets of Dorking, so actually you have more like 8.8 and 10.4 miles to do before nightfall.

You don't have to choose which walk you are doing until after the Wotton Hatch pub, the only lunch stop on the short walk, one of two possible lunch stops on the main walk (the other being the Stephan Langton). If it is a big group and the Wotton Hatch pub is busy, it clearly would be useful if the main walkers ate at the Langton, but you would be advised to ring first to check they have space.

If anyone is feeling really heroic, there is also a 22.6 km (14 mile) long option. You get access to two other pubs on this walk, but will almost certainly finish in the dark.

Dorking High Street has various tea options. Allow 15-20 minutes after them to get to the station.

Trains back are at 26 and 58 past to Victoria and 4 and 34 past to Waterloo, with only minutes difference in journey times. T=3.274

25 30?, so many I lost the count. Lots came off the train from Victoria which was delayed, we met several at Dorking station who came from Waterloo train arrived earlier, then two more joined enRoute, sunny all day. A lovely day out with nice scenary and autumn colour in sunshine. Several opted for earlier pub lunch at Wotten Hatch. I am told food came very fast and was good. Eleven (one arrived earlier and had already finished when the later party arrived) ate at Stephan Langton, a bit of wait for the food but it was worth the wait, all enjoyed their dishes. We booked a table for 8, but had 10, the pub quickly added a extra table for us, when we left at 2:15pm the place was full, so recommend booking if a large party for the future. We saw ~10 12 walkers (mainly sandwichers who were ahead of us) in a tea room in Dorking but it was full, so eight of us went to another one (can't remember the name) down the road. Tea and cakes lived up to our high expectations. All left just after 5pm, we caught 5:34pm train back to London. A nice day out in good company, and no traffic noise either...
Two at Clapham Junction got the 10.03 train to Dorking as the 9.37 was cancelled. Did the Victoria train not stop at CJ? Didn't see anyone else at Dorking. Decided to do Dorking to Reigate walk instead. This was a lovely walk with countless crossings of the river Mole and lots of autumn colour mainly on the ground. We were enthusiastically shepherded into the church in Betchworth where there was a display of alternative Christmas trees made by local groups all really inventive. A really enjoyable day

Sun, 23-Jul-17 10

Sunday Walk – Dorking Circular

Extra Walk 274 – Dorking Circular
Length: 18¾ km (11.7 miles), with shorter and longer options. Toughness: 6/10

10:02 Dorking train from Waterloo (Vauxhall 10:07, Clapham Jct 10:13, etc), arriving Dorking (Main) at 10:53. If there's a problem with this train and you can get to Clapham Junction by 10:18, you could take a Southern service to Dorking (on a different line), arriving at 11:09.

Dorking (Main) has an hourly South West Train service to Waterloo at xx:07 and Southern services to Victoria at xx:15 & xx:45. There is also an hourly Great Western service from Dorking Deepdene at xx:19 if you want to return this way (changing at Redhill for Victoria).

This walk takes in the area to the west of Dorking, with a long stretch along the chalky hillside of the North Downs in the morning and a more wooded section back across the Greensand Hills in the afternoon. If you want a pub lunch I reckon your best chance is shortly before 1pm at the Wotton Hatch, but all the pubs on the walk route could well be fully booked on a Sunday and you might prefer to have a picnic lunch by the picturesque Hammer Pond at Friday Street. The end of the walk is through Dorking town centre where there are plenty of refreshment places (and although it's likely to be closed by the time you get there, any Americans might like to seek out Mullins Coffee Shop).

You'll need to print the directions from the Dorking Circular Walk page. You can reduce the number of pages printed by clicking the 'Main Walk' option, or print the whole document if you think you might want to switch to the shorter or longer option. T=swc.274
Anyone doing this walk pls?
Probably 10
7 off the train, one of whom vanished inside the station. Plenty of chalkland flowers as we came through Denbies Hillside. The Wotton Hatch was packed – whatever happened to the down to earth boozer I first visited many years ago? Gone the way of the Ploughman's Lunch, that's what.On to the Stephan Langton, where I arrived too late to witness any food consumption, but I did come across the other four walkers, finishing off their coffee and looking very replete. These, the Langton Four, had remarkably clean boots for people who claimed to have been walking. And so back to Dorking. The four soon vanished – back to their cars no doubt! Leaving me to deal with the menacing black labrador at Squires Farm all by myself. This free range beast‘s forte is snarling , teeth baring, lunging and backing off. And again. No actual biting so maybe my “nice doggy” strategy does work. I didn’t try patting it to find out. When I got nearer Dorking I realised that the bits in italics were easy options allowing me to avoid the final hilly bits. (Did them last year, no need to do them again). cloudy with some light rain and occasional glimpses of the sun
Maybe it's too late to add anything to Ian's excellent report, but one of the "Langton 4" joined three of the initial group for the full afternoon walk, including an encounter with the snarly dog. We only found Costa open for tea in Dorking, but all in all a most enjoyable day in varied countryside.
Sat, 03-Sep-16 30

Saturday Third Walk – the North Downs & Greensand Hills

New Walk – Dorking Circular
Length: 17 to 23 km (10.6 to 14.3 miles), depending on options. Toughness: 6 or 8/10

09:31 Horsham train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:37, Sutton 09:59, etc), arriving Dorking (Main) at 10:24. From Victoria (but not intermediate stations) you can get a "Southern Only" day return to Dorking which is 20% cheaper than the standard fare, but you'd have to travel out and back on this route.

If it's more convenient you can travel out via East Croydon, changing at Redhill. I won't clutter things up with details of the connections, but the 10:14 from Redhill arrives at Dorking Deepdene at 10:26 so you can meet the others near the start; while the 10:34 arrives at Dorking West at 10:49 (cutting out the first 1½ km), about the time when the others will be passing this station. All three Dorking stations are covered in the Walk Directions.

Dorking (Main) has Southern services to Victoria at xx:26 & xx:58, while South West Trains depart for Waterloo at xx:04 & xx:34. There are also Great Western trains from Dorking Deepdene to Redhill at around xx:08 & xx:26 if you want to return this way.

You might expect a relatively strenuous Dorking walk to be climbing Box Hill, but this new walk takes in the less familiar territory on the other side of the town. There's a brief overlap with one of the Book 1 walks (#42, Holmwood to Gomshall) around Friday Street, but otherwise this one covers new ground for the SWC.

After about an hour you'll have to choose whether to do the Main Walk (with lunch in Wotton or Friday Street) or the Long Walk (with lunch in one of the Abingers or Friday Street, if you can hold out till then). As both sets of directions could do with checking it would be good if there were some walkers on each. [There's also a Short Walk option after the lunch pub in Wotton, although that's intended for shorter days and/or a later start.]

All the possible lunch pubs are relatively up-market and I'm not sure how they'll cope with the sudden arrival of a large group. It would make sense to choose one and call ahead, or to split up and so get feedback from several pubs on each option. The Walk Notes list some of the many tea places in Dorking but most of them are untried so again feedback on any of them would be welcome. There are plenty of other coffee shops, pubs and restaurants which will be competing for your custom if you loiter in the town before returning.

You'll need to print the directions from this New Walk page. As usual you can click one of the Walk Options to reduce the amount printed, if you're sure which one you'll be doing. T=swc.274
24 (or 25 by some people's count) walkers on the platform, 2 more at the gate, 3 more at Deepdene station and 1 more that had taken a bus to The Wotton Hatch lunch pub on the short and medium options to start from there, so I make that (at least) 30 walkers, the fastest ones of which finished the walk w/o encountering a single drop of the wet stuff from above, so overcast with sunny spells, I'd say. [The drizzle, then rain, started the moment we had reached Dorking station.]
Relative chaos ensued from the off, as the long walkers sped off, one disciple of The Church Of The Followers Of A Line On A Screen started the walk the wrong way round, all the way to the lunch pub in Wotton, to then re trace the walk from there with some other medium walkers; one other walker apparently went straight up the first hill "to explore a different route", never to be seen again (not the woman from SW London you're all thinking of); and the majority of the short and medium walkers were never seen again (by us).
8 of the long walkers reconvened at the Abinger Hatch (traditional pub classics menu, very convincingly executed, delivered at fair speed and for decent prices, and the pub was not very busy at all, so: recommended).
Later we overtook (and assembled into our group) said out the wrong way walker, the bus taker and one other. The 15.58 train was narrowly missed...
As for the walk: very nice, plenty of gentle and not so gentle ascents, shaded woods, far views and pretty villages; minimal overlap with other offerings of this great walking club, so a worthy addition to the list, methinks.
Might be a major challenge in muddy conditions, despite various avoidance routes being described in the text...
Oh, and of course there was the by now customary cameo appearance of the walk author, this time at the Wotton pub.
Two of us lingered over tea in the Stephan Langton, forgetting that the rain was coming. A few drops towards the end of our sojourn reminded us. We got VERY WET on the walk back into Dorking. Still, I expect the drought stressed plants all around us were very grateful.